For media enquiries or to connect with researchers in the MacVicar Lab at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, please contact Emily Wight, Communications Manager.

For general enquiries about MacVicar Lab activities, please contact Katherine Rhodes at

Man receives MS drug infusion at Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
Analysis of data over 18 years demonstrates high incidence, increasing prevalence of MS in BC Aug 14, 2015

The number of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in British Columbia has increased over the past 18 years, but the number of new MS cases each year has held stable, a new study has found.

Alcohol and smoking associated with anxiety and depression in multiple sclerosis Aug 13, 2015

Researchers hope the results of a new study will aid doctors in better supporting patients with multiple sclerosis. The study, published this week in Multiple Sclerosis Journal, tracked over 900 patients from four Canadian provinces over two years and found that during this time more than 50 percent were anxious, and over 35 percent were depressed.

Dr. Christian Naus
New research: Target healthy cells to stop brain cancer “hijack” Aug 12, 2015

New research into brain cancer suggests treatments should target the cells around a tumor to stop it from spreading.

UBC research team Christian Naus (pictured), Wun Chey Sin and John Bechberger study glioma, the most aggressive form of adult brain cancer. Glioma has a median survival rate of about 15 months and two-year survival rate of 30 per cent because it is difficult to completely remove cancer cells without compromising brain functions and chemotherapy and radiotherapy do not prevent the regrowth of remaining cancer cells.

Researchers develop test to measure effectiveness of treatments for Huntington’s disease Aug 7, 2015

A new test developed by UBC researchers allows physicians to measure the effects of gene silencing therapy in Huntington’s disease and will support the first human clinical trial of a drug that targets the genetic cause of the disease.

The gene silencing therapy being tested aims to reduce the levels of a toxic protein in the brain that causes Huntington’s disease.

Research shows aerobic exercise benefits both body and brain Jul 20, 2015

Break out the sweatbands and the oldies – 60 minutes of good old-fashioned aerobic exercise may be more potent than any pill to reduce older adults’ risk of cognitive decline due to silent mini-strokes, according to new research by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, researcher at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.

lasse dissing olesen
Trainee profile: Dr. Lasse Dissing-Olesen Jun 30, 2015

"It's not just about the lab or the science," says Dr. Lasse Dissing-Olesen, who recently completed his PhD in Dr. Brian MacVicar's lab. "The feeling of accomplishment comes from so many different things." 

Grandmother and granddaughter
Canada’s largest ever study on aging reaches recruitment goal of 50,000 participants Jun 29, 2015

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, and David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster–Dundas–Flamborough–Westdale, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today met with researchers and participants in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), Canada’s largest ever study on aging. Minister Leitch and MP Sweet congratulated the research team on reaching their ambitious recruitment goal and thanked the participants from across the country for agreeing to take part in the important study.

Shooting the messenger: Glutamate targeted with new research funds Jun 1, 2015

On the path from the eye to the brain, visual information travels between neurons via glutamate. Glutamate levels are crucial to cell communication: too high and neurons die, too low and information cannot be properly understood. In either case, the wrong balance of glutamate in the neurons can contribute to neurological diseases including stroke, glaucoma, and Alzheimer's.

Walking the Walk to end MS May 29, 2015

The MS Walk, an annual fundraising event engaging more than 40,000 Canadians across the country, highlights the cause at the center of everything the UBC Hospital MS Clinic at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health does.

Mobile mood-tracking website helps patients across Canada May 28, 2015

Effective help for depression and anxiety is now just a click away, thanks to a mobile-optimized website developed at the Mood Disorders Clinic at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. MoodFx, accessible by mobile device or computer, uses validated questionnaires to track patients’ mood, cognition and work performance.